6 LA Clam Chowders You Need To Try

By Lesley Balla  |  February 25, 2014
Credit: Fishing With Dynamite/Rick Poon

It might be an East Coast staple - printed recipes date as far back as the 18th Century - but we're swimming in clam chowder options around LA. Whether white or red, spiced or creamy, with or without bacon or ham, grab a bowl. Oh and did we mention that today, February 25, is National Clam Chowder Day? Here are six bowls to get you started.

  • They say it tastes better by the sea; we think West Hollywood is close enough. Michael Cimarusti's haute clam chowder at Providence was just a precursor to the more rustic versions at Connie & Ted's. You can get a bowl of Jo's Wicked Good Chowda in a creamy New England-style, tomato-based Manhattan-style or Rhode Island clear. Or try a sampler of all three at once.

  • Regardless of the chef and interior changes, the creamy New England clam chowder has been a staple at Water Grill in Downtown LA since the restaurant opened in 1991. Now that an outpost is open in Santa Monica, there's double the chance you can eat a bowl of soup with whole clams swimming in a perfect broth. The only thing missing is the bacon but at least it's pescatarian-friendly this way.

  • The only body of water near L&E Oyster Bar is the Silver Lake Reservoir but that doesn't mean chef Spencer Bezaire's creamy New England-style chowder can't hold its own. It's perfectly creamy, smoky and soothing and just what you want before or after a dozen oysters (or one's judging).

  • Credit: Rick Poon

    Chef David LeFevre makes a dynamite chowder at his chic Manhattan Beach seafood shack, Fishing With Dynamite, with Neuske's bacon, Weiser Farms potatoes and house-made oyster crackers. Sometimes he adds a tomato version as a special, like he has for National Clam Chowder Day. Both are available for this most auspicious of holidays.

  • Chef Jason Travi transfers his New England cred to Hollywood with his ode to East Coast specialties at Littlefork. His chowder is thick and creamy, with lots of potatoes and clams in every smoky bite. We admit: we're suckers for the little bottles of Tabasco, too.

  • The patio at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica is just where you want to be with a bowl of chowder, followed by a lobster roll and a plate of oysters, of course.